SAN JUAN: The United States Coast Guard detained two suspected smugglers and seized 71 pounds of cocaine during an operation in the Caribbean Sea, coast guards said.
The Coast Guard said that the operation was a multi-agency law enforcement effort in support of Operation Caribbean Guard and Coast Guard Operation Unified Resolve.
It said a marine surveillance aircraft last week detected a suspicious 20-foot go-fast vessel with two people aboard “transiting the area without the use of their navigational lights”.
It said the Cutter Dependable was diverted to interdict the suspect vessel and observed the suspected smugglers jettisoning multiple packages overboard during the pursuit.
“The small-boat crew employed warning shots and disabling fire, stopping the vessel and recovering one of the jettisoned bales from the water,” the Coast Guard said.
Since September 2012, the Coast Guard, in partnership with regional law enforcement authorities and international partners in the Caribbean, seized over 25,500 kilograms of cocaine and 8,000 pounds of marijuana during multiple law enforcement at-sea interdictions under Operation Unified Resolve.
The Coast Guard said that the drugs seized since 2012 are worth more than US$640 million.